Archive for the ‘Flu in IL prisons’ Category


The Coronavirus will potentially devastate IL prisons; its inmates and those in county jail throughout the state. We are compiling information about the Illinois Department of Correction’s response to the virus and county jails compared to the prisons and jails in other US states as well as the Bureau of Federal Prisons. We are also compiling information offered by prison experts and advocates on behalf of inmates.

You can find this information on our IDOC Agency IDOC Inmate Early Release Page. (<<< click on the red there)

Each day it is becoming more apparent just how inadequate the US response is to the coronavirus epidemic on both the national and local level regarding the safety of the general public. It’s further alarming and outrageous to read the news accounts and reports we’re compiling which show that Illinois’s efforts not only lag significantly behind those of most states but particularly so regarding the health and welfare of Illinois state and county inmates. Illinois county and state facilities have made little preparation for this epidemic compared to other states.

As of this date, at least 4 IDOC facilities have been locked down on medical quarantine for almost a week due to unknown illness. That includes at least 50 inmates at the Menard Correctional Center who suffer from “flu-like” symptoms, 60 inmates at Southwestern IL Correctional, and an unknown number at Robinson Correctional. Cook County Jail is also the first Illinois jail to report that Coronavirus testing is available for its inmates.

Despite the illness and numbers, the Illinois Department of Corrections publicly admits that it is not testing any inmates for Coronavirus. Nor has it said whether it intends to ever do so.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated on January 7, 2013, that the current flue epidemic in IL is one of the worst in the nation:

Illinois flu outbreak is one of worst in the U.S.

The Illinois Department of Corrections is claiming that despite the present severe overcrowding in IL prisons that “…it has seen few flu cases among prison inmates and employees…” Yet, at the same time, it is encouraging visitors with flu symptoms to stay home and reschedule visits…

Flu Outbreak Not Affecting Prisons

Forgive us for being skeptical. Just about two weeks ago, at least 140  inmates at the Stateville Correctional Center came down with Norovirus infections which began on Christmas :

Norovirus Outbreak Hits Illinois Prison

Stateville Prison Laid Low by Flu-Like Virus

Some inmates were quarantined, and others reported moved to Sheridan. With the current prison overcrowding, it seems unlikely that IDOC inmates are not catching the flu. With media being limited in access to IL prisons, the public has to rely upon the IL Department of Public Health to confirm or deny IDOC’s report of well-being. IDOC is required to report all suspected flu cases to IDPA. IDPA publishes a weekly Influenza Survey Report. It’s flu survey report for the week ending January 12, 2013, cites the occurrence of  32 institutional flu outbreaks; almost a doubling of the 18 institutional flu outbreaks it reported for the week previous. Institutions are described by IDPA as consisting of “nursing home, hospital, prison, school, etc.”

We are getting reports of widespread inmate flu illness at Stateville CC, without preventative flu shots. Hopefully the media will contact the IL Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to factually confirm what IDOC says, and the public does not later find out that the flu among inmates is widespread and not being prevented.